It’s time to embrace Winter. The cool weather sends us indoors, the oven keeps the house nice and warm, and herbs and spices sent the air. This year I threw a party for the Winter Solstice to celebrate the longest night and the blessed return of the sun in the New Year. Since my friends have come to expect charcuterie at my parties, I cured an easy festive holiday ham for the table.
This ham is made with pork loin spiced with juniper, black pepper, maple syrup and smokey scotch whisky. My smoker is out in the snowy yard, so the scotch whisky adds a little smoke without me dawning my snow boots. The pork loin was only two pounds so it cures in just a few days. It can be cooked well ahead of the party and stored in the fridge. This ham works well served hot or cold, sliced thin with pickles or condiments on the side. I served it with sparkling semi-dry Lambrusco and a bit of Beer Mustard.